Cow Race introduces players to the town of Barrelhaven, site of the annual Great Cow Race (which Gran'ma Ben always wins, despite her competitors having four legs). As Fone Bone, you'll wander around the festival grounds, trying to figure out a way to get teenage heroine Thorn to like you. Meanwhile, Phoney dons his bookie hat and tries to fix the race, while Smiley puts together a cow costume to help with Phoney's scheme.
If you get stumped by one of these plots, you can switch to another one on the fly, and events in each storyline are frequently key to solving puzzles in the other two. Knocking the Viking hat off a carnival statue as Fone Bone, for example, enables Smiley to grab the hat later and use its horns. This adds a depth that was lacking in the first game, and makes Cow Race more fun for those with short attention spans - if you're bored with one of the Bones, you can always see what the other two are up to.
Cow Race also features better minigames than the first episode did. In one, you'll man a wobbly catapult at a carnival booth, taking shots at a cow-shaped target to push it forward in a race, while another actually turns mopping a floor into a challenge. The puzzles are no slouch, either, whether you're trying to put a giant bee to sleep (hint: reading to him from Moby Dick - which you can actually do - doesn't work), trick some would-be gamblers out of their hard-earned eggs or help Fone Bone compose a Herman Melville-themed love poem.